Please, for the love of whomever you hold dear, do not schedule your wedding on a holiday weekend.
Honest. I mean it.
Do you have any idea how many people’s long weekends have been ruined because they know someone who thought the whole universe should come to a screaming halt and accommodate them? You are delusional if you really think everyone invited to your wedding is thrilled to be there (and I don’t care where) for your special day. They are just afraid to tell you. They are afraid to say, “Listen, we work like dogs, we are tired, and we really look forward to these holiday weekends. We want to be left in peace, to travel where WE want to go (or stay home and lock the doors) and not have to spend the time and money to schlep to your wedding and sit through another three-day dog and pony show that passes for a wedding these days.”
How do I know this? Besides being one of these people, I live in a place where weddings are happening all the time - especially around holidays. I drive past the hotels and see the fatigued looks of your guests, a look that says, “I want to take off this dress and high heels / suit and tie , pop open a cold one and relax. RELAX. Not sit there while you take 400 pictures, play a video of the bride getting her wedding hair done (and her mustache waxed) that morning, not wanting to hear the endless parade of “and now the Father of the Bride will dance with the third cousin once removed…..”. They would honestly rather open a vein than view some PowerPoint presentation containing 800 photos of you and your beloved, dating from the cutting of your umbilical cords to the present day. I hear your guests when they come in to my husband’s store looking for a wedding card (or killing time) and complaining about the “stupid wedding” and how “we could be up at (fill in the destination here) and enjoying ourselves.”
Listen. Seriously. I’ve been going to weddings for a LONG time. I even paid for my books in college by singing at weddings, so I have been to more than most. Here is my heartfelt, sincere and sober advice for how to insure a nice wedding:
1. Do not schedule it on a holiday weekend. If you need motivation, the surcharge your guests will have to pay on their air travel and hotels will definitely impact the quality of gifts you receive.
2. Make up your guest list. Then cut it in half. Honest, I already know you are over-inviting and I have never even met you.
3. Look up the definition of a guest, and how they should be treated. Really. It’s a concept 95% of weddings do not take into consideration. Email me if you need help with this one.
4. Keep the church music in the church and the reception tunes at the reception. Mixing them up (usually crappy pop songs in church) happens more often than you think. Additionally, it gives your guests douche chills. I am going to burn in hell for singing Anne Murray songs at church weddings in the 80′s, I just know it, but I needed the cash.
5. If you are old enough and mature enough to stand before witnesses and take solemn vows promising your unending love and commitment, then you are too damn old to have stupid props and toys handed out by the DJ at the reception. (Who, I guarantee you, is playing the music too damn loud.) If your little friends can’t make it through an evening without playing games and wearing stupid hats, rent them a party room at Chucky Cheese and stop by after the reception on the way to your hotel.
6. Do not, under any circumstances, include those insipid bridal registry cards in your wedding invitations. The retailers make them up BECAUSE THEY WANT TO MAKE MONEY. It is tacky and vulgar and thoughtless. If your guests do not know you well enough to ask you where you are registered, please refer back to #2. If you still feel the need to dictate what your “guests” will give you, send them an invoice. Then review #3 again.
7. About the bridesmaid dresses – they will never, ever, EVER wear them again so just drop the BS and admit you are forcing them to buy some frothy, overpriced piece of crap because you did it for their weddings. A level playing field is best, and honesty is a good way to start a marriage.
8. If you insist on wearing a sleeveless, strapless bridal gown that shows off acres of cleavage and has some sort of hooker-corset, lace up back, please have the decency to get a little satin jacket to wear over your shoulders at the church. There is nothing demurely bridal about coming up the aisle wearing something that – in any other color – would look good next to a stripper pole.
There is more (um, much more) but we’ll take baby steps here. Thank you letting me speak for countless people who are this very weekend trapped at holiday weddings. They will never tell you these things…..but trust me, this is exactly what they are thinking.